Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Distance between Calderón and Pascual

Via Bajo Reserva:
In the world of diplomacy there are absences that demonstrate the level of diplomatic relations. This is the case of Washington's ambassador, Carlos Pascual, who didn't show up to an event of great importance for bilateral trade. The diplomat didn't arrive for the inauguration of the annual conference of the American Chamber of Commerce in Mexico, an event that was led last night by Felipe Calderón. Until Monday morning, the representative of the American government was named as a participant, but he instead chose to travel to Juárez to meet with the priísta mayor, Héctor Murguía. Don Carlos said he would continue supporting the border city. The question is, who will continue supporting him, after being severely criticized by Calderón?
I wonder what would have happened if Calderón hadn't made a public stink about it. As it stands now, evidently Pascual is totally isolated and unable to carry out a major part of his job responsibilities, yet backed into a corner, the Obama administration can't remove him now. However, had the same scenario played out without Calderón's angry interviews and the leaks to the press, the Obama could perhaps remove him without much fuss. The counter to that would be that Calderón knew all this ahead of time, and didn't want Pascual removed so much as he wanted a whipping boy, but I don't know how convincing I find that. It's not like having Pascual to kick around --or, more precisely, to ignore-- has made the rest of his job much easier. Although perhaps there was a constituency on his cabinet (i.e. Guillermo Galván Galván) arguing for Calderón to take firmer public line, and whether Pascual stays or goes is merely incidental.

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